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Roberts Walks Off Riders 

Ninth Walk-Off Homer in Franchise History
May 19, 2024

Amarillo, Texas (May 18, 2024) – The Amarillo Calf Fries weathered a late surge from the Frisco RoughRiders on Saturday night to stake claim to a series lead. Caleb Roberts delivered the knockout blow in the bottom of the ninth inning with a two-out walk off home run for a

Amarillo, Texas (May 18, 2024) – The Amarillo Calf Fries weathered a late surge from the Frisco RoughRiders on Saturday night to stake claim to a series lead. Caleb Roberts delivered the knockout blow in the bottom of the ninth inning with a two-out walk off home run for a 4-3 win.

Amarillo got out in front in the bottom of the second inning. After Ivan Melendez drew a one-out walk, A.J. Vukovich doubled him over to third for Wilderd Patiño to come up to the plate with two men in scoring position. A single scored Melendez but Patiño was caught off first base on the cut.

Similar to how his first start went against Frisco, Dylan File was on his game from the first pitch on Saturday night. The right-hander worked three-up-three down in each of his first four innings of labor. He made it through the fifth facing the minimum after a one-out double was erased on a caught stealing and then worked around a leadoff single in the top of the sixth by pitching his defense to a double play and then another grounder to leave the sixth after facing just 18 batters.

Amarillo left the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth innings, failing to capitalize on prime scoring opportunities as the game stayed at 1-0 heading into the top of the seventh.

A leadoff single was just the third hit allowed by File for the night and the RoughRiders played small ball to get their second runner into scoring position. The move paid off with each of the next three Riders finally getting to the Amarillo right-hander with three straight singles, the last two helping to give Frisco a 2-1 lead. Jake Rice wiped two runners away and prevented any more damage as he induced the second double play for the Calf Fries.

The Frisco lead was a brief one, lasting just four batters. After getting the first two outs of the inning, a J.J. D'Orazio single kept the inning alive for Amarillo. The Riders decided to pitch to Deyvison De Los Santos after intentionally putting him aboard in the fifth. The gamble backfired for the Riders with the D-backs' no. 14-rated prospect hitting his minor-league leading 14th home run of the season to give Amarillo a 3-2 lead. Consecutive singles - the second being a long one with Melendez hitting the top of the left-field wall - was relayed in and caught Roberts trying to stretch all the way home from first on the play.

Zach Barnes got to work the eighth and faced just four batters. A one-out double was taken off the base paths as Barnes fielded a comebacker and started a run down between second and third. He then worked a double play ball to get out of the inning with a lead still intact. The Calf Fries got a couple of runners on in the home half of the eighth using a two-out hit by pitch and walk to get aboard. A double steal had both in scoring position before a groundout stalled the scoring chance.

Barnes returned for the ninth. A double with one away gave Frisco the tying run in scoring position. A single into shallow left field was fielding by Patiño who delivered a rocket to the plate to cut the run down at home. Josh Hatcher was able to move into second on the throw and make Barnes navigate the same situation, this time with two outs. The Amarillo right-hander wasn't as lucky the second time with a similar play not being in time at the plate and Keyber Rodriguez knotting things up at three a piece with a two-out RBI single.

Mitchell Stumpo relieved Barnes and needed five pitches to retire Abimelec Ortiz and send the Calf Fries to the bottom of the ninth in hopes of a walk off.

A D'Orazio flyout and thoughts of maybe giving De Los Santos another free pass to first instead gave Amarillo two out and Roberts headed to the plate. After working an eight pitch at-bat to a full count and three two-strike fouls, the ninth pitch of the AB turned out to be the magic one for Roberts. The D-backs no. 28-rated prospect sent a middle-middle changeup onto the right-field berm for Amarillo's second walk-off win of the season - and series.

Amarillo will look to ride the high of Saturday night into the series finale on Sunday afternoon with a chance to win their first series of the season. RHP Yilber Diaz will make his second start of the week for Amarillo. The D-backs no. 16-rated prospect is 1-4 on the year despite a 3.86 ERA. He will be countered by the hard-throwing Emiliano Teodo (2-1, 2.60 ERA) for Frisco. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.


BOMBS AWAY: Caleb Roberts got to be the hero on Saturday night, hitting the walk off home run for Amarillo off Florencio Serrano Jr. It was his second home run of the season and first since leaving the yard on Opening Night against San Antonio on April 5th. It was the ninth walk-off home run in team history and the first since A.J. Vukovich did it on August 29, 2023 against Midland. Of the nine walk-off homers, three have now come against Riders pitching. The last against Frisco came during the 2022 season when Jorge Barrosa did it on June 10th. Stone Garrett had the first against the Riders in the final game of the 2021 season, delivering a three-run walk-off shot. Roberts' homer on Saturday was the second Amarillo walk-off win of the year, just four games removed from the first when Ivan Melendez started the series with a walk-off two-RBI double in the bottom of the 10th on Tuesday.

THE DYLAN FILE(s): Dylan File continued his streak of recent excellence with another quality start on Saturday night. He hurled 6.2 IP allowing just two runs on six hits. He struck out three Frisco batters while not surrendering a walk for the game. The Amarillo right-hander carried a perfect game into the fifth inning, retiring each of the first 12 RoughRiders he faced for the second straight time against the Texas Rangers Double-A club. The quality start was the third of the season for the right-hander and all three coming in his last four starts. Since spinning seven innings of one-run ball against these Riders on April 27th, File has turned in a 1.42 ERA over his last 25.1 IP. He has allowed just four runs on 21 hits and has 11 strikeouts to just one walk after not walking a batter for his third straight start.

ANOTHER DEY, ANOTHER HR: Deyvison De Los Santos' seventh-inning home run gives him a homer in consecutive days for the third time this season and all three instances have come in the month of May. The D-backs' no. 14-rated prospect is up to 14 home runs on the season - the most in all Minor League Baseball after Saturday. He has hit seven home runs in 16 games played this month and is well on his way to earning another Texas League Player of the Month award after matching the number of homers he had in April in five fewer games played. De Los Santos is hitting .390 in May (23-for-59) with 19 RBI to go along with his seven long balls. He has crushed Frisco pitching in particular, now hitting .550 (22-for-40) with six home runs and 20 RBI in 11 games played. He has also drawn six walks and has been retired on strikes just seven times against the Riders. He also rejoined Tim Tawa atop the Sod Poodles all-time home run leaderboard, hitting his 35th to give Amarillo the 3-2 lead at the time of his dinger.